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How to Organize Your Job Search

Second semester always seems to go by fast - especially after spring break. Whether you’re still looking to land an internship for this summer, or graduating and searching for a full time job, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and unorganized among all of the applications, contacts and interviews this time of year. To avoid the “where’s the business card that recruiter gave me last month?!” panic, we’ve provided a few pointers to keep you on track and get energized about job searching!


Spreadsheets Are Your Friend

Below is an outline of a job search spreadsheet courtesy of one of our intelligent & organized past CCO interns, Angela Petrie. This chart organizes important information all in one place such as company name, location, website, position title, when you applied, when you followed up, when you interviewed, contact information, and additional notes.

Extra tip: If you are applying to places in multiple cities, create separate sheets for each city. The easiest programs to create your own are Google Sheets or Excel, but you can download a copy of our excel spreadsheet to get started!

Set Realistic Goals

A friend and I were talking about how we were going to manage all of the applications we expect ourselves to complete. She suggested 1-2 a week. At first, I thought that seemed extremely low since I know I should be doing more. But, it was better than the amount I was submitting last semester, which was little to none. In short, setting a completely attainable goal will at least get you started and make it easy to increase once you get the hang of it! In addition, below is an outline to help you prepare for & map out your job search.

  1. Identify your target job description

  • What tasks (coding, writing, designing) could you see yourself enjoying?

  • What skills (web-design, C++, Java, visual communication) do you want to apply?

  1. Identify your target industries (e.g. Medical, Manufacturing, Software, Marketing, Fashion, Retail, Oil and Gas)

  2. Create a list of companies that you would like to work for. Job search is a continuous process until you accept a position, so keep adding to the list!

  3. Set up a weekly schedule of job search related activities, including:

  • Companies to apply to during the week

  • Networking activities, including career fairs, company presentations and career-related workshops

File Your Emails

This is a simple one, but so necessary. Create a separate folder with a title such as Career 2017, and place all emails having to do with your career into this folder.

File Your Business Cards

Even though business cards are becoming less common, there are still a great amount of people who hand them out. A lot of times the phone number on someone’s business card can provide a more direct way of reaching them as opposed to the general company number, so definitely keep all business cards you receive! You can find cheap organizers like the one below at office supply stores. I have one and it’s pretty cool to open it up and literally have contacts right at your fingertips.

Add Notes to a Contact on LinkedIn

Adding notes directly on a connection’s page is just one of LinkedIn’s many handy tools. No one else can see these notes, therefore it creates a personal archive about that connection which can help you keep track of small details. The notes section can be found right below a connection’s profile under the Relationship section.

Networking Doesn’t Happen By Itself

Just recently, I wrote down everyone I know who could be a potential help for getting an internship or job lead. Making an extensive list without ruling anyone out can help you think of people who you may not have- really push yourself to consider all areas of your life. For instance, a family friend who’s always supported you, a classmate who has now graduated with a similar position you might want, professors who have inspired you, mentors from past internships, past sports coaches– you never know who could know someone. Simply ask politely if they can help put you in touch with any contacts related to your career- there’s really nothing to lose!


Even by reading this blog, you’re already on your way to getting organized! If you want some extra guidance on your job search, don’t hesitate to stop by the CCO during drop-in hours, Mon-Fri from 10 am-4 pm or make an appointment with a career consultant.

What more information and tips on job and internship search strategies? Checkout some of the resource available on the CCO website.

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